July 16th, 2017

Army Model 1911 Pistols for CMP? Report from Congress

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation

Report by NRA Institute for Legislative Action
On July 14, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus model 1911 .45 ACP pistols available to the American public through the Civilian Marksmanship program (CMP).*

In November of 2015, then-President Obama signed the NDAA for Fiscal year 2016 into law with language that authorized the Secretary of Defense to transfer 1911s no longer in service to the CMP for public sale. That language made the transfers subject to the Secretary’s discretion and capped them at 10,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, no actual transfers were made under the program while Obama remained in the White House.

This year’s language, however, would effectively make the transfers mandatory and would remove the yearly cap. Currently, the military has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense. The CMP’s sales of 1911s would be treated as other retail sales under the federal Gun Control Act, including the attendant background checks and point of sale record keeping.

TAKE ACTION TODAY
If you would like to see 1911 sales return to the CMP, please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to keep the House language on this matter intact in the final bill they send to the president. You can contact Senators and Representative at 202-225-3121.

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation
Pistol photo courtesy NRA-ILA

* Upon completion of the Senate NDAA, the House and Senate will convene a conference committee to resolve the differences in their bills. Please urge your representatives to retain the House language regarding the 1911s in the final bill.

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April 11th, 2017

President’s Son Supports New Suppressor Legislation in Congress

Hearing Safety act suppressor silencerco thunder beast silencer legislation
Thunder Beast Arms suppressors are popular with tactical competitors and hunters.

Hopefully, in the near future, it will be much easier to purchase a suppressor for your firearm. Legislative efforts to reform the laws governing suppressors are moving forward in the U.S. Congress.

On January 9, 2017, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), introduced H.R. 367 to remove suppressors from National Firearms Act control and treat them the same as long guns, replacing the outdated federal transfer process with a NICS background check. The measure picked up 42 Republican co-sponsors and one Democrat co-sponsor. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introducted the similar Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (S. 59) in the U.S. Senate.

The new silencer reform legislation has a key backer — Donald Trump, Jr., the President’s son. “It’s about safety. It’s a health issue, frankly.” Trump Jr. explains in a video interview with Joshua Waldron, the founder of SilencerCo.

Donald Trump Jr. Talks about Suppressors and Shooting Safety

Donald Trump Jr. Talks about Suppressors
“I’ve had the privilege of being able to hunt in Europe, where some of the strictest gun laws in the world exist. Guess what… virtually every hunting gun there is suppressed. It’s about safety. If you had that kind of noise levels in any other industry as you would in shooting sports, OSHA would be all over the place. It’s about safety.” Trump Jr. said the current U.S. suppressor laws are “arbitrary policies by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.” He says it’s time the U.S. follow the lead of European nations, and adopt sensible suppressor policies, “because if Europe can do it, American better well be able to do it.”

NSSF Supports Hearing Safety Act
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) supports efforts to make silencers/suppressors easier to purchase. “This legislation will enable gun owners to have better access to hearing protection products and improve safety for the shooting sports by removing extensive wait times for burdensome paperwork processing that does not advance public safety,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior VP and general counsel.

“Anyone who has ever worried about hearing loss from shooting might want to lend their ears to this cause” said Emily Taylor, an attorney at the Houston law firm of Walker & Byington.

Current law imposes signficant barriers to suppressor ownership, Taylor explained: “Currently, the manufacture, purchase, and possession of firearm silencers are regulated by the ATF and must comply with the requirements laid out in the National Firearms Act (NFA). Anyone who wants a firearm suppressor must first get approval from the ATF and pay the required tax. An extended waiting period comes along with the time it takes the ATF to process these requests.”

“The Hearing Protection Act seeks to amend the law so that firearm silencers are treated the same way as long guns,” Taylor added. “The bill would make it so that there is no longer a tax associated with the transfer of a firearm silencer, and anyone who pays a tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015 could receive a refund of such tax. Lastly, the bill would preempt certain state laws that tried to impose taxes or registration requirements on firearm silencers.”

This article based on story in the Midsouth Shooters Supply Blog.

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February 5th, 2017

New Legislation Could Help States Use Fed Money for Gun Ranges

Target marksmanship training support act H.R. 788 Congress NSSF shooting range legislation
H.R. 788 will help States build and maintain shooting ranges with Federal funding assistance.

Federal Legislation has been introduced that will help build and maintain shooting ranges. H.R. 788, the Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act of 2017, was introduced in Congress by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and a bipartisan group of 23 co-sponsors. The provisions of H.R. 788 will help States fund public shooting ranges with Federal Firearms Excise tax revenues.

“This legislation [H.R. 788] would provide state fish and game agencies more flexibility to use Pittman Robertson excise taxes dollars raised from the sale of firearms and ammunition to enhance existing public shooting ranges and to build new ones to meet the growing need for additional places for target shooters to participate in their sport,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel. “Public shooting ranges provide hunters a place to sight-in rifles and shotguns before hunting seasons, for people to take firearm safety and hunter education courses, and for recreational target shooters to enjoy their sport.”

Since 1937 almost $11 billion has been raised for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition. States are permitted to use some of those funds for hunter education courses and for public shooting ranges under a restrictive formula that has largely discouraged state agencies from building and enhancing public shooting ranges. H.R. 788 will help states use Pittman Robertson revenues by increasing the limit on Federal funding of shooting ranges from 75 to 90 percent. This means states could begin work on range facilities with 10 percent State-supplied funding, instead of the current 25 percent. It would also allow Federal Excise funds to be made available and accrue for five years for land acquisition or range construction.

In addition, the legislation would limit frivolous lawsuits arising from the use of Federal land for target practice and encourage Federal agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities for maintenance of ranges on federal lands.

Pittman-Robertson gun range funding

Story by NRAHuntersRights.org and NRAblog.com
Shown above is the Belfast Wildlife Area rifle range in Kindards, SC. Belfast was the first public, unmanned shooting range opened and paid for completely with funds raised by NRA Grants and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program … an act made possible through Pittman-Robertson grants. Several other state Natural Resource Departments have followed suit.

Legislative History: The Target and Marksmanship Training Support Act was previously introduced as H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act (Title II), and the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in the last Congress, as well as a stand-alone bill H.R. 2463 in the 113th Congress.

Photo Credit: Top photo shows Mainville Sportsman Club (PA) and Union Co. Sportmen’s Club (PA), both sites of IBS Matches.

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October 5th, 2016

Export Control Reform Act Could Benefit Firearms Industry

export control reform act ITAR Department state commerce obama

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the recent bipartisan introduction of the Export Control Reform Act of 2016 in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 6176, as well as the companion Senate bill, S. 3405, and called on Congress to pass this important legislation.

“The Export Control Reform Act of 2016 seeks to complete what the Obama administration itself began by transferring the export licensing and enforcement oversight of sporting and commercial firearms to the Commerce Department from the State Department,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We would especially like to thank the sponsors: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.); Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Tom Marino (R-Penn.); Gene Green (D-Texas); and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) for their timely bipartisan leadership as well as Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) for sponsoring a companion bill in the Senate.”

In August 2009, with the support of the business community including NSS, the Obama administration launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative. The Initiative’s purpose is to both improve America’s global competitiveness by reducing unnecessary restrictions on exports of commercial items and enhance national security by focusing the State Department’s attention and resources on guarding truly sensitive defense items and technologies. As former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, the ECR Initiative’s purpose is “to build a higher fence around a smaller yard.”

The administration has transferred, or is in the process of transferring, to Commerce from State, export licensing responsibility for virtually all commercial, non-military items. The only remaining items yet to be transferred are sporting and commercial firearms and related products. While we have patiently waited for the administration to make ECR progress on our products, small manufacturers, component parts suppliers, distributors, and exporters in our industry, and even gunsmiths and individuals, have to continue to comply with unnecessary regulations and to pay an annual minimum registration fee of $2,250, regardless of whether they actually export. Under the State Department’s Cold-war era export licensing regime, American companies are unable to compete globally on a level playing field.

“Because the administration has not moved forward in a timely manner to complete its own ECR Initiative, it is now time for Congress to move forward with legislation complete the ECR and reduce unneeded and burdensome regulations while improving our global competitiveness, create American jobs and enhance national security,” Keane said. [Editor’s Note: One goal of the ECR initiative is to reduce the burden of ITAR compliance for gunsmiths who do not export any products. SEE ITAR Registration Requirements Report.]

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March 3rd, 2016

Sportsmen’s Heritage & Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act

H.R. HR 2406 SHARE Recreation Act Congress House of Representatives NSSF

The U.S. House of Representatives. in a decisive 242-161 vote last week. passed H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Because the SHARE Act is the most important pro-sportsmen and pro-hunting legislation in a generation, this legislation was a top priority for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Twelve Democrats joined the Republican majority to ensure passage. Only four Republicans voted against the SHARE Act. All attempts to amend the legislation with unfavorable provisions were defeated. Favorable amendments were passed. Read the NSSF press release.


CLICK HERE for Summary of Important SHARE Act Provisions

H.R. HR 2406 SHARE Recreation Act Congress House of Representatives NSSF

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July 28th, 2015

Congress Members Oppose Efforts to Deny Social Security Recipients’ Gun Rights

Gun Rights Social Security Congress Obama Administration Prohibited Persons NICS

Safeguarding Social Security Beneficiaries’ Second Amendment Rights
Nineteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee have challenged plans by the Obama administration to provide the names of disabled Social Security beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This would result in the classification of these beneficiaries as “prohibited persons” who are not allowed to acquire firearms. The Representatives say this proposal would violate the spirit of the Americans with Disability Act and threaten the Constitutional rights of law-abiding older Americans.

In their joint letter to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the Representatives argue convincingly that plans to classify older citizens as “prohibited persons” for NICS purposes is unconstitutional:

It has come to our attention that the Social Security Administration is considering a policy to provide the names of Social Security beneficiaries who have a “representative payee” to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in an effort to limit [their] Second Amendment rights. This would be a dangerous overreach, and we urge you to abandon any such plan.

The representative payee system is vital for beneficiaries who need assistance managing their own finances. Millions of responsible seniors and people with disabilities rely on a representative payee. Simply using this system does not mean beneficiaries are a risk to themselves or others.

Providing information on individuals who have a representative payee to the NICS is a broad overreach of authorities and violates beneficiaries’ constitutional rights. This policy runs counter to the aims of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)[.]

Old age or a disability doesn’t make someone a threat to society. Having a representative payee should not be grounds to revoke constitutional rights. We strongly urge you to halt any steps to provide information on Social Security beneficiaries or Supplemental Security Income recipients to the NICS.

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March 11th, 2015

ATF Shelves Plan to Ban M855 Ammo — For Now at Least

NSSF ATF m855
Photo courtesy NSSF.

Count this as a small victory for gun owners — the ATF’s proposed ban on “Green Tip” M855 ammo has been taken off the table — for now at least. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives (ATF) announced that it will rethink its proposed ban on commonplace 5.56x45mm M855 “green tip” ammunition. ATF has shelved the M855 ban for the time being while it reviews the 80,000+ comments it has received on the issue. The Shooting Wire noted that: “In addition to those 80,000 comments from average citizens, letters from both houses of Congress warned the ATF [that its] proposal was…a violation of law as Congress had exempted M855 from armor piercing classification because of its widespread use for recreational and competition shooting.” Though the matter is “off the table” for now, ATF will continue to accept comments through March 16, 2015.

ATF Statement Regard Proposed M855 Ban

“Thank you for your interest in ATF’s proposed framework for determining whether certain projectiles are ‘primarily intended for sporting purposes’ within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C). The informal comment period will close on Monday, March 16, 2015. ATF has already received more than 80,000 comments, which will be made publicly available as soon as practicable. Although ATF endeavored to create a proposal that reflected a good faith interpretation of the law and balanced the interests of law enforcement, industry, and sportsmen, the vast majority of the comments received to date are critical of the framework, and include issues that deserve further study. Accordingly, ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework. After the close of the comment period, ATF will process the comments received, further evaluate the issues raised therein, and provide additional open and transparent process (for example, through additional proposals and opportunities for comment) before proceeding with any framework.”

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November 1st, 2013

Bill to Promote Shooting Ranges Advances in Congress

Congress buildingMany shooting ranges have been closed over the past few years, victims of “urban sprawl” and concerns over noise and land use. Now there’s a bill in Congress that will help fund new ranges around the country. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee last week voted to advance the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (HR 2463). This legislation is sponsored by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) member Duncan Hunter (Rep., CA) and Caucus Vice-Chair Tim Walz (Dem., MN), along with a bipartisan coalition of 14 other House Members. This bill would allow states to use the excise taxes already collected on sporting equipment and ammunition to develop and maintain much-needed public shooting ranges. Having already received the approval of the Natural Resources Committee, passage of HR 2463 through the Judiciary committee was the final step necessary to send the bill to the House Floor.

If passed by the House, HR 2463 would have to be approved by the U.S. Senate, and then signed by the President before it could become law. Based on recent experience, a Presidential veto doesn’t seem likely. Through December 2012, President Obama has vetoed just two of 621 bills that crossed his desk. That’s the fewest number of vetos since Millard Fillmore held office in the early 1850s.

Summary: H.R.2463 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act – Amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to: (1) authorize a state to pay up to 90% of the costs of acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range; (2) authorize a state to elect to allocate 10% of a specified amount apportioned to it from the federal aid to wildlife restoration fund for such costs; (3) limit the federal share of such costs under such Act to 90%; and (4) require amounts provided for such costs under such Act to remain available for expenditure and obligation for five fiscal years.

Shields the United States from any civil action or claim for money damages for injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by an activity occurring at a public target range that is funded by the federal government pursuant to such Act or located on federal land, except to the extent provided under the Federal Tort Claims Act with respect to the exercise or performance of a discretionary function.

Urges the Chief of the Forest Service and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to cooperate with state and local authorities and other entities to carry out waste removal and other activities on any federal land used as a public target range to encourage its continued use for target practice or marksmanship training.

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October 4th, 2010

Ammo Protection and Korean Gun Import Bills Introduced

Congress Gun LawsThere’s some good news to report from Washington this week. Legislation has been introduced that would: 1) Block efforts to ban ammo (and bullets) that contain lead or lead; and, 2) Allow the import of Korean surplus rifles that have been embargoed by the Obama Administration.

Ammo Protection Bill Introduced in both House and Senate
Following continued attacks by anti-hunting groups to ban traditional ammunition (ammunition containing lead-core components) under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation (H.R. 6284) to clarify the longstanding exemption of ammunition under the act. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) has introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate.

Bill Would Allow Importation of Korean Surplus M1 Garands and M1 Carbines
U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) is seeking to stop the federal government from interfering with the legal importation of surplus collectible U.S.-made firearms from South Korea, the Billings Gazette reports. Lummis has joined with Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in introducing a bill called the Collectable Firearms Protection Act. NSSF, which called for a congressional hearing to investigate this ban, supports the bill.

Washington Legislative report from NSSF.

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September 8th, 2010

NSSF Supports ATF Modernization Legislation

ATF logo FirearmsThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is supporting the passage of new legislation, Senate Bill 941, that would expand “due process” rights for Federal Firearms License holders. The proposed law, titled “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009″, provides the ATF with additional “non-doomsday” regulatory options (short of revocation) while at the same time affording licensees more rights and due process in the regulatory scheme.

The bi-partisan bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). It would allow ATF new powers to issue fines and suspend licenses of federal firearms licensees (as opposed to current regulations which only allow for license revocation). The legislation would also allow ATF to distinguish between more serious violations and “benign/administrative” violations. Furthermore, the legislation would create an appeals process, whereby FFLs would have cases heard before a neutral administrative law judge, rather than an ATF official.

NSSF supports S. 941 because it helps protect the rights of FFLs while giving ATF more tools (beyond license revocation) to ensure licensee compliance. Companion legislation in the House was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R- Iowa) and Zack Space (D-Ohio).

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May 25th, 2010

Proposed Law Allocates Gun Excise Taxes for Range Acquisition

U.S. Congress SealA bill in Congress would allow state agencies to use their shares of Federal Excise/Sales Tax Revenues (derived from gun, ammo, and archery sales) to acquire land for new shooting ranges. The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R.3781) would give state agencies more flexibility in spending Pittman-Robertson dollars for the development of new sites for shooting ranges. H.R.3781 was introduced in October 2009 by Rep. Betsey Markey of Colorado. The bill, supported by NSSF, would give states the ability to use federal excise/sales tax revenues to purchase land for new ranges for the first time and increase federal dollars for range construction and improvement.

We think this is a great idea. Please tell your members of Congress to support H.R.3781. In many parts of the country privately-owned ranges are closing (due to a variety of factors including urban sprawl and restrictive land-use laws). Pittman-Robertson revenues are also at an all-time high, as is the general public interest in target shooting. It makes good sense to allow a share of Federal gun-related tax revenues be set aside for range acquisition. H.R. 3781 would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to:

  • authorize a state to pay up to 90% of the costs of acquiring land for expanding, or constructing, a public target range;
  • authorize a state to elect to allocate 10% of a specified amount apportioned to it from the federal aid to wildlife restoration fund for such costs;
  • limit the federal share of such costs under such Act to 90%;
  • require amounts provided for such costs under such Act to remain available for expenditure and obligation for five fiscal years.

About the Pittman-Robertson Act
The Pittman-Robertson Act imposes an 11% excise tax on sporting firearms and ammunition, a 10% tax on handguns, and 11% sales tax on archery equipment. Fully half of the monies collected via the handgun and archery equipment taxes goes to state hunter education and safety programs.

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May 21st, 2010

Hot Topics on Gun Talk Radio This Sunday

Texas Governor Rick PerryTune in to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio this Sunday, May 23rd. Tom has an all-star line-up for Sunday’s broadcast, leading off with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Gov. Perry talks about guns, freedom, and using his own carry pistol to fend off a coyote attack.

Military Cartridge Brass Controversy
U.S. Congressman Brad Ellsworth of Indiana also joins Gresham to discuss an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Bill that would prohibit the U.S. military from destroying brass cartridge cases. Some base commanders have allowed this “once-fired” brass to be sold as scrap metal, which results in less revenue for the Department of Defense. It also eliminates millions of reloadable cartridge cases which should be sold through legal channels — something that can help with the brass shortages law recreational and competitive shooters have experienced recently.

“As a gun owner myself and a former sheriff,” said Rep. Ellsworth, “I know that these cases are mostly used for marksmanship training and competition and law enforcement agencies. Authorizing the military to re-sell these casing is a win-win for hunters and marksman and the Defense Department.”

SCAR Rifle Deployment for SOCOM
Gabe Bailey, FNH USA Marketing Director for Combat Rifle and Technical Support, will also visit Gun Talk Radio this Sunday. He will discuss the SCAR weapon system, which recently received final “Milestone C” approval for deployment to U.S. SOCOM troops.

FN Herstal SCAR rifle

gun talk radioIn its 15th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio runs on 94 stations, plus SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts through Apple iTunes or at Gun Talk Archives.

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August 3rd, 2009

Capt. Dave Funk Runs for Congress

Veteran pilot, rifle shooter, hunter, and AccurateShooter forum member Dave Funk is running as a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Iowa. Dave Funk, known as ‘Captain Dave’ by many, served as Co-chair of Iowa Sportsmen for McCain-Palin and has been active in conservative political circles for most of his adult life. He recently serviced as co-chair of the Iowa Sportsmen for McCain-Palin. He is also is the current President of the Iowa Chapter of Safari Club International.

Dave Funk for CongressNow working as an aviation security consultant, Dave served for nearly ten years as an attack helicopter pilot with the Iowa Army National Guard. He has over three decades of aviation experience, most recently as a Boeing 757 Captain for Northwest Airlines.

Why does a family man, living in rural Iowa with his wife and children, want to go to Washington? Dave Funk, a “tried and true conservative”, believes the country is at a crossroads and basic American values and freedoms are being challenged.

Dave explained: “Last fall, in the President’s Message in the Safari Club International’s Iowa Chapter quarterly newsletter, I wrote the following regarding the then-pending election: ‘As a nation we are at a fork in the road, one turn, towards the left, is in a direction much like our European allies have gone, to more government intrusion, higher taxes, fewer individual rights, and unrelenting attacks on our traditions as hunters and, to top it all off… stagnant economies. The other turn is toward the right, to freedom and liberty, lower taxes, [and] a vibrant economy.'”

Dave continued: “The ‘hope’ and ‘change’ thing sold to the American people last fall is not really working out. Democrats took control of Congress… and through a series of legislative missteps have increased the costs of doing business for all of us through higher taxes, excessive spending and massive federal intrusion into the private sector — including taking over banks and manufacturing companies.

I don’t want to face my son 20 years from now when he asks me, ‘Dad, in 2010, when there was still time to save this country, why didn’t you do something?’ It’s time that real Americans step up… before it’s too late. That’s why I’m running for Congress.” To learn more about Dave Funk and his campaign visit www.FunkforCongress.com, or call (515) 966-2066.

Dave Funk for Congress

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whatever your political leanings, you have to admire Dave for undertaking this campaign. We applaud the fact that a fellow shooter is making the effort to get involved in the national politics. It is easy to sit back and complain about the state of affairs in the nation. It takes courage and commitment to do what Dave is doing.

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April 3rd, 2009

Congress Called… Please Send in Your $30,635.00 Check

Congress has just approved a new $3.6 TRILLION dollar budget for fiscal 2010. This will include $1.75 trillion in deficit spending according to independent analysts (though House Democrats assert the deficit will only be $1.2 trillion). The budget was approved on party lines. No Republicans voted for the budget. In the Senate, the budget was approved 55-43, while in the House of Representatives the vote was was 233-196, with 20 Democrats dissenting.

With the U.S. population estimated at 305,529,237 as of 1/1/2009, (U.S. Census Bureau data), President Obama’s $3.6 TRILLION budget represents a historically unprecedented level of spending (and borrowing) per capita. Check out them zeros: $3,600,000,000,000.00!

The 2010 Federal Budget works out to $11,783.00 for every man, woman, and child in the United States, and represents $30,635.00 per household. This figure ($30,635) is 61% of the median American household income.*

A Trillion Here, a Trillion There…
For many Americans, the scale of the numbers being tossed around by Washington politicos is hard to comprehend. To put things in perspective, PageTutor.com has created a handy visualization of what one trillion dollars would look like, in stacked $100.00 bills. Here, for starters, is a mere $100,000,000:

trillion dollars

The image below shows one Trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) in stacked $100.00 bills. (Pallets are double-tiered). To give you a sense of scale, the little red figure in the lower left corner is a human, the same guy in the picture above. Is your mind sufficiently boggled now?

trillion dollars

How Much is a Trillion?
Here are some other interesting Trillion-dollar calculations, offered by Doug Furton, a physics Professor at Grand Valley State University:

• 1 trillion dollar bills stitched together end to end in a line would stretch about 94 million miles — a bit more than the distance from earth to the sun.

• 1 trillion dollar bills stitched together to form a quilt would cover an area about the size of the state of Connecticut.

• If we spent $1.00 every second, it would take 32,000 YEARS to spend 1 trillion dollars.

How about repaying the $1.75 trillion dollars Congress intends to borrow in fiscal 2010? Think that will be easy? Think again. Prof. Furton explains: “If we borrowed 1 trillion dollars at 6% APR with terms similar to a conventional home loan the debt would accumulate interest at a rate of $1929 per second. If we paid the debt off at the rate of $2000 per second we could discharge it in about 56 years — a working lifetime. By the end of this massive loan we would have paid a total of nearly 3.5 trillion dollars, putting a tidy 2.5 trillion dollars in the coffers of whoever made us the loan”.

*According to the Census Bureau, the average American Household size is 2.6 persons. U.S. Median Household Income is $50,233.00, last officially calculated in 2007.

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